Sunday, 14 August 2011

The Sight Below / Rafael Anton Irasarri

I've been a big fan of Rafael Anton Irisarri's work since I heard his incredible The North Bend on Room 40 - bleak Badalementi-esque ambiance evoking some terribly sad place, less defined by portentous Lynchian horror than by the barren aftereffects of such menace, the alienation of a world emptied of hopes and dreams. After that I tracked down all his stuff, the Lynch connection made concrete on 'A Great Northern Sigh':

... and 'Lumberton' (a favourite of bvdub):

... along with his other influences - 'VoigtKampff's nod to Wolfgang:

... recordings of Satie's 'Gnossienne #1' (with Goldmund):

... and Part's 'Fur Alina':

... all demonstrate just how close his tastes are to mine. It's fortunate, and oddly rare, that I like his music, as all too often one comes across artists who cite fantastic influences only for their work to be total shit.

I'd read somewhere about Irisarri's other project The Sight Below but only heard it this morning, thanks to my dear friend Christo. Here the Voigt influence - read Gas - is clearly audible: dark, slowly unfolding synthetic waves powered by steady bass drum. There's less presence than with Gas, and less detail in the midrange drones, which Irisarri creates from effected guitar, not samples. There's also ample originality to justify its independent existence - a kind of shoegaze Voigt, or 'Gas meets Grouper' as one friend put it. These from 2008's Glider:

By 2010's It All Falls Apart there's less Gas and more Grouper, with Slowdive's Simon Scott on board to deliver added whoosh, as on 'Stagger'

... and there's vocals even, by Jesy Fortino of Tiny Vipers on Joy Division cover 'New Dawn Fades':

Beautiful and interesting music. I'm reminded too that other titan of ambient techno, Markus Guentner

Irissari favours vinyl, so check here for links to buying it.

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